Hogan Lovells image

Hogan Lovells

Samantha Bennett

Job title: 
Trainee solicitor
Samantha has a degree in Materials Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and MPhil and PhD in Materials Science from University of Cambridge. She also completed GDL and LPC at BPP.
  • Degree: Materials Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); MPhil and PhD in Materials Science, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge
  • Joined: August 2012
  • Doing now: IP – Patent Litigation
  • Office location: London
  • Favourite holiday destination: Cape Cod, MA

When I began university, studying materials science in the US, I never dreamed that I would be working at a UK law firm. Yet, after studying abroad in the UK and then spending a summer working in a specialist intellectual property law firm in New York, I realised how science and law can complement each other. I returned to the UK to undertake post-graduate study in materials science and then decided to apply for training contracts in London.

As a non-law student , I found it a challenge to differentiate between the many 'City' law firms, especially as I was not able to fit in any vacation schemes during my PhD. My first contact with Hogan Lovells was at a careers fair, where the representatives from Hogan Lovells seemed to value my scientific background and encouraged me to pursue the law conversion. They also helped me to appreciate the breadth and international nature of the work undertaken by Hogan Lovells, which convinced me to apply for a training contract. Rather surprisingly, I found the interview day to be relatively enjoyable, albeit rigorous, as it is designed to put you at ease whilst testing your capabilities.

After accepting a training contract with the firm, I undertook the GDL and the Accelerated LPC, both with BPP. My first seat was in Corporate, specialising in energy and natural resources, where I worked on a large transaction related to the purchase of a group of utility companies. Sitting in Corporate provided a good insight into how the departments in the firm work together and the best practices for project management. Such skills have proved useful in my current seat in the Intellectual Property department, working on patent litigation. Currently, I am working on a trial to be heard in the Patents Court and telecommunications-related litigation. I am learning a tremendous amount, both from my day-to-day responsibilities and from working with the talented members of the patents team.

Although it is an ambitious City firm, with international work and blue-chip clients, Hogan Lovells still manages to foster a culture of teamwork at all levels. My advice would be to get to know the firm, either through a vacation scheme or, as I did, through a careers fair. As soon as I met the people at Hogan Lovells, I knew it was the place for me.